Saturday, September 25, 2010

USAF Major Challenges Her DADT Discharge, Wins, Is Reinstated

Read about it at TPM. The basis for her reinstatement? Violation of her substantive due process rights under the Fifth Amendment. The key paragraphs, from Rachel Slajda at TPM:


"The application of 'Don't Ask Don't Tell' to Major Margaret Witt does not significantly further the government's interest in promoting military readiness, unit morale and cohesion," he wrote in his ruling. "Her discharge from the Air Force Reserves violated her substantive due process rights under the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution. She should be restored to her position as a Flight Nurse with the 446th AES as soon as is practicable, subject to meeting applicable regulations touching upon qualifications necessary for continued service."

He also said that her discharge hurt her unit.

"The evidence before the Court is that Major Margaret Witt was an exemplary officer. She was an effective leader, a caring mentor, a skilled clinician, and an integral member of an effective team. Her loss within the squadron resulted in a diminution of the unit's ability to carry out its mission," Leighton wrote. "Good flight nurses are hard to find."

Congratulations to Major Witt; may she be the first of many. Yes, there are additional legal hurdles to be cleared, and no, the judge did not rule on all such cases, just this one... but it's a start.

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